Saturday, December 16, 2006

Good Morning Sunshine!

[Note: Scroll down to see Fisher's "Beautiful Life" video on YouTube followed by the lyrics.]

I woke up this morning and I could tell that I was starting to come out of this funk i've been in. The fog is lifting!

Did any one thing happen to get me over the hump? I don't think so. I don't think there was some kind of magic formula or anything like that. I think it was a combination of having both local and distant friends to support and encourage me, pray for me, being able to vent, debrief, and process thoughts, and choosing to move on.

It's like that feeling when you know that you are about to lift a heavy weight so you prepare yourself for it by taking a firm stance with feet planted, hands on the weight with a tight grip, and a few deep breaths before the grunt and burst of energy to do what needs to be done. That's the mode i'm in when I say I'm choosing to move on. It's not that challenges and obstacles have been removed, but rather that I'm choosing to press through them, around them, under them, over them - whatever it takes - because I would rather be somewhere else than in that funk.

Sometimes, it takes a choice to go where the sunshine is . . . .

When the fog rolls in, I can see how it's easy for me to focus my eyes on what happens to be in front of me - even when it's the negative. I can focus in on one particular friend that has let me down and i'll find myself overlooking, even taking for granted, the precious friends that actually are trying to reach out to support me. I can focus in on the delay of not getting the financial compensation I've requested at work while forgetting to be thankful for having a job in the first place. I can focus in on how inadequate I feel in trying to change the world and I overlook the fact that I've already changed it - in some way. It's easy for my insecurities to take over and dominate my thoughts and I'll get to a point to where it paralyzes me.

To say that i'm not happy isn't a complete statement. There are things that i'm not happy about but there are so many other things that I am happy about. And so maybe events and circumstances don't need to define my emotional state. Perhaps, I can be happy in the midst of enduring unhappy things.

I wonder if that makes sense?

Maybe being happy isn't even the goal. I think the goal is to be honest with how I feel. There are times when I need to complete my mourning and my grieving. There are times when I need to fully celebrate friends and successes and blessings. There are times when I need to take a few emotional risks. Maybe being open enough with my community to share about what i'm processing doesn't have to mean that i'm a basketcase. Perhaps it's okay to let go of an illusion of a good friendship when a more accurate picture of it is revealed.

I think i'm finding alot of sunshine in acceptance. I'm learning more and more to accept myself. I'm learning to accept circumstances for what they are - both exciting and disappointing. I'm learning to accept the fact that friends are who they are - some are constant, some are fair-weather, some are seasonal, some are mutual, some are takers, some are givers, some are more whole and some are still figuring themselves out.

I've been asking alot of questions in a GCN forum thread regarding the expectations that we have towards our friends. I'm realizing that people view friendship in very different ways and they approach them very differently. I've been disappointed in the past and now i'm seeing that it could have alot to do with clashing paradigms regarding friendship. Add in the complication of my own insecurities plus my own needs and things can get pretty messy.

I try to be the kind of friend to others that I want others to be for me. That's an expectation rooted in my own personal values and needs. But what if others don't share that same value or need? They will never reciprocate the kind of friendship that I'm wanting and so i'm bound to be disappointed. On the flip side, I do think that there is a degree of healthy expectation that we can have of our friends - something rooted in common sense, compassion, and genuine care. If i'm having a bad day, I think it's fair to expect a good friend to make a gesture of concern . . . "Hey, how are you doing? What can I do to help?"

Regardless, I'm learning to accept things for what they are - people for who they are. Sometimes, it's a terrible wake up call to see that the value of our friendship is unequally perceived. Sometimes, it's a wonderful revelation to see that we mutually value our friendship. I'm choosing to move on by accepting the fact that not all my friendships are equally ideal.

I don't know how healthy that is but for now it's what I need to move forward out of the funk and hole of disappointment and insecurity. The bottom line is that there is too much in this world (circumstances and relationships) that I cannot control. But in the fog, I can choose what to focus on. If I squint, I think I can see a ray of light!

One of my favorite songs for the past couple of years has been Fisher's "Beautiful Life". You may recognize it from a Toyota commercial. Check it out:

"Beautiful Life" by Fisher

Hey child up and go
-Big world is out there waiting for us to
live in every day

Outside you will find
there is love all around you
-Takes you, makes you wanna' say

That it's a beautiful life
and it's a beautiful world
and it's a beautiful time
to be here, to be here, to be here

The sky's blue
-just us two
Side by side we'll see the world
that surrounds us
-Hey, seize the day

Each road - every mile's a photograph in motion
to astound us, carry us away

into a beautiful life
'Cause it's a beautiful world
and it's a beautiful time
to be here, to be here

Leave all your cares behind you
The sun is rising
Turn around -it's right in front of you
and it's a beautiful life
and it's a beautiful time
to be here, to be here, to be here


Anonymous said...

At first I thought this blog was about "Six Feet Under" but I was wrong. I'm glad your fog is lifting, and I'm happy you share my world with me. HUGS!

Peterson Toscano said...

Hey, I like that video. Never heard the song before.
Yeah, I have had that feeling of the fog lifting, of turning the corner. So glad you are processing this stuff so wonderfully with words and songs and videos.

Ramone said...

Kind of reminds me of a line in U2's "Beautiful Day" I hadn't noticed before...

See the bird with the leaf in her mouth
After the flood all the colors came out

Glad to hear things are getting better, bro. Blessings in Jesus to you today.